Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : In sequence learning tasks, participants’ sensitivity to the sequential structure of a series of events often overshoots their ability to express relevant knowledge intentionally, as in generation tasks that require participants to produce either the next element of a sequence (inclusion) or a different element (exclusion). Comparing generation performance under inclusion and exclusion conditions makes it possible to assess the respective influences of conscious and unconscious learning. Recently, two main concerns have been expressed concerning such tasks. First, it is often difficult to design control sequences in such a way that they enable clear comparisons with the training material. Second, it is challenging to ask participants to perform appropriately under exclusion instructions, for the requirement to exclude familiar responses often leads them to adopt degenerate strategies (e.g., pushing on the same key all the time), which then need to be specifically singled out as invalid. To overcome both concerns, we introduce reversible second-order conditional (RSOC) sequences and show (a) that they elicit particularly strong transfer effects, (b) that dissociation of implicit and explicit influences becomes possible thanks to the removal of salient transitions in RSOCs, and (c) that exclusion instructions can be greatly simplified without losing sensitivity.